Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1104: Perfect Piemonte and Bella Bologna: A Succulent Journey for the Senses and Soul
By Palma from California, Fall 2006
Page 3 of 18: Baur B&B: A Magical Place
Palma and Diana on the terrace
Another beautiful, sunny day in Italy. We woke up early, feeling rested and excited. We were off and running early after a light breakfast and lots of coffee, to the large Mercato at Piazza Republica. It was a very large market with mostly clothes, jeans, shirts, and lots of junk; however I did manage to find a couple of great Italia sweatshirts for my Godsons, and I bought some nice coral and rust roses to bring to Diana.
We took a few tourist photos in Torino, returned to the hotel, checked out, loaded the luggage, and made a quick stop at the post office to mail a package to Gloria in Civitella Marittima. By 12:30, we had crossed the Po, and were heading out of Torino. We drove by Asti, Alessandria, and in an hour and 15 minutes we arrived in the wonderful town of Acqui Terme. We stopped for lunch, and shared some down-home fusilli with sugo di salsiccia and a cold drink.
I needed to use il bagno before we left the restaurant. When I entered, I noticed a small blue rectangle attatched to the center of the back of the toilet seat. Being relieved that it wasn’t a “squatter”, I used the toilet, stood, flushed, and the show began! I was laughing hysterically, out loud, as I watched the toilet seat itself begin to rotate. Soon the oval shape became horizontal. The seat slowly turned 360 degrees, passing through the blue “sanitizer”. I watched, mesmorized, as it created a sort of weird optical illusion, and the oval appeared distorted as it completed it’s revolution and snapped back in place for the next user. Of all the toilets in six trips to Italy, I had never seen this! Like a two year old after “pulling off his nose with your thumb”, I thought , “AGAIN!” Yes, I sat quickly, stood, and flushed, laughing just as hard the second time, and praying no one was waiting outside the door.
I returned to our table and told Brad, “You have to see this toilet. Go in, do what you have to do, but be sure to SIT, then flush and WATCH!” This is an example of trust in a marriage. He silently left to do what I said, no questions asked. He soon returned, still laughing, having experienced the same entertainment!
We drove around Acqui for a while, getting oriented to the town, and the main piazza. We looked forward to exploring it all very soon. It took us a little while to find the first street on the directions that would lead us out of town to Baur’s B&B. Once we found the first road referred to, we were only five minutes from our destination.
Diana, Micha and an excited, adorable Max, greeted us enthusiastically! The Baur B&B is a truly magical place with two huge, comfortable guest rooms upstairs. The house is painted brightly in a happy pallet of yellows with bright green shutters, and lots of flowers. The open view of hills, trees, and vineyards from the front patio is spectacular. The pool area behind the house is equally charming and inviting. When we saw our room upstairs, I ran out of words (besides “Oh my God!”) to describe the attention to detail and creature comforts. We had a SPACIOUS bedroom with a sitting area, comfortable sofa, flat screen TV, DVD player, movies, flowers, and a bowl of ripe figs! There were books, candles, a filled wine rack, electric espresso pot with coffee, stocked frig, soft drinks, waters, and a dream bathroom with lovely organic products and the biggest fluffy, soft, towels (excuse me, BATH SHEETS!). There were lovely fixtures and beautiful tile!
Diana’s artistic talents shine through everywhere you looked. The colors, textures, fabrics, art, and a welcoming feeling were unlike anywhere we have ever stayed. I can hardly describe the feelings of warmth, and comfort, knowing this would be our “home” for the next seven nights! Let’s talk about the bed. The word is luscious. There was a comfortable mattress with a mushroom colored bottom sheet, a beautiful white cutwork top sheet, and pillows, pillows, pillows. Huge Euro fat ones, fluffy large white ones, cozy decorative colorful ones, and TWO delicious duvets (so Brad can sleep through my menopausal broken internal thermostat issues)!
We sat and visited with Micha and Diana all afternoon. How lucky we were that we were their only guests that week. Later, Diana began preparations for our special welcome feast. We began with a sparkling Brut from the area (like Prosecco) and a fabulous appetizer of pastry dough filled with local goat cheese, topped with figs and rosemary. YUM!
Dinner was delightful in both food, and good company. With the lovely view from the terrace, we enjoyed a beautiful salad of greens, peaches and toasted pinoli served with shrimp. Then we had pasta (agnolotti) with prosciutto and olive oil. Dessert was warm summer fruit in Grand Marnier with marscpone. Wonderful local Dolcetto wine flowed throughout the evening. We talked and laughed until 11:30. What a scrumptious way to begin our week in Piemonte, and an equally scrumptious bed to fall into.
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